In this research, the morphing wing geometries are studied parametrically to identify the aerodynamic characteristics at various flight conditions. The morphing wing presented considers a NACA 0012 airfoil with a rigid portion at the leading edge and a continuously conforming trailing edge flap. Following the authors' previous study, an elliptical curve was used as the morphing model for the spanwise trailing edge deflection. Control deflection for the trailing edge, hinge location, Reynolds number, and angle of attack were parameterized to investigate trends. This research was conducted numerically through Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations. The CFD simulations are performed using the three- dimensional (3D) Reynolds-Average Navier-Stokes (RANS) equations with the k – ω Shear Stress Transport (SST) turbulence model. The results showed that a higher Reynolds number leads to better aerodynamic performance while the control deflection and hinge location needs to be optimized for a given flight condition. The results also indicated that the morphing wing shape optimization should start from lower values of control deflection and hinge location as an initial design approach. The study demonstrates that morphing wings can achieve significant aerodynamic performance gains through active actuation of hinge point location and control deflection to suit the flight regimes encountered through a mission profile.
In this research, the application of an existing morphing wing technology, known as the Spanwise Morphing Trailing Edge (SMTE), is investigated further to identify the optimal morphing geometries for a subsonic Reynolds number regime. The new morphing wing model considers generating a variety of n-th root function (e.g., square root) geometries along the spanwise trailing edge of the wing to provide optimal aerodynamic results. The degree of the root function, control deflection of the trailing edge, and the angle of attack are parameterized to investigate the detailed aerodynamic characteristics. This research was conducted numerically through Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations. The CFD simulations are performed using the three-dimensional (3D) Reynolds-Average Navier-Stokes (RANS) equations with the k - ω Shear Stress Transport (SST) turbulence model. The results show that the aerodynamic performance improves as the n-th root function geometries approach to the shape of an elliptic curve, which is a special case of the square root function. The results also indicate that the wing geometries of lower control deflection are more beneficial than those of higher control deflection to generate the same amount of lift when the angle of attack can vary freely.